Little Black Fish Rehearsal Day 6

Hereford College of Arts students from the Contemporary Design Craft course with the support from Purvin, Artistic Director from The Fetch have completed two big puppets for our performance at the Hay Festival.

Jess (CDC student) has developed the head of the little old lady puppet, who will be representing the old fish of the little black fish story. Here Purvin is showing Jess the next steps that are needed in the making of her puppet.

The crab and the pelican were operated today by Performing Arts student Tommy Ryan. In this process the costume ideas developed…the puppeteers and performers will be dressed in shipmen outfits from the past.

Spending the morning experimenting and exploring allowed us to find movements for the puppets and develop ideas. Wool is going to play a big role throughout the entire telling of the story. Improvising with the wool has allowed us to develop the little old ladies background story. (The lady puppet in the photo below is a stand-in for now until Jess has completed her puppet).

She wakes to find herself in the midst of wool balls. She is unsure where she is, but soon sees stories in the balls of wool and chooses to tell the story of the black wool ball…that obviously represents the story of the little black fish.

Narration will take place throughout the performance, however where and at what points will be decided and developed throughout the rehearsals in May.

The opening scene was worked on and narration points were identified. It was a joy to welcome four Hereford College of Arts BA(hons) Popular Music students into the process, who straight away created melodies and sound scapes to the opening scene we had been working on. It is always fascinating to me how sound adds so much to the telling of a story.

The music students were then also introduced to the crab and pelican and sound and music ideas were improvised with and discussed and work on these will continue throughout the process. The creation of the sound is a two way conversation between puppeteer who is responding to the sound and the musicians responding to the actions of the puppeteer. Very organic way of working.

Working with Purvin is a joy and his creativity and attention to detail is inspiring. I very much look forward to commencing our rehearsal phase…I just have to wait a few weeks. In the meantime I will be busy sourcing furniture items needed for the set and more wool! (if you have any spare wool that is keen to perform at the Hay Festival please do get in touch!)

Until the next time.


‘The Day the war came’

Together with Claire Coache from Open Sky Productions, Hereford College of Arts BA(hons) Performing Arts students, an Illustration student and a Textile student we will be creating and developing a new children’s theatre performance based on Nicola Davies ‘The Day the war came’.

The performance will be performed as a ticketed event at the Hay Festival at the end of May 2017.